We generally think family is every child’s biggest support and strength and he/she owes all that he/she has to his/her parents. But we must acknowledge the fact that only those who are lucky get a supportive family; not everyone! Here’s a guest post by Disha who has been disowned by her own family. Read this extremely inspiring story of Disha’s life in her own words. Disha is the founder of Disha Discovers. After she was disowned by her parents, she decided to start living the life she always dreamt of for herself and to stop living a life that was built around conformity. She escaped the stereotypical life she was told to live and has visited 80+ countries since then.
Disowned and Rescued
I was born in the small town of Greenville, Mississippi in the United States to rather controlling Indian parents. I always found myself in a battle between conforming to my family’s desires and wishes and actually following my own goals and dreams. Sometimes, as an Indian child, it’s difficult to find your own voice and gain the courage to carve your own path. As a kid, I succumbed to my parents every wish and desire for me because I didn’t know any better.
The older I got, the more I realized that I was extremely unhappy living someone else’s life and realized how toxic my family actually was. I was verbally and physically abused as a child. I got severe beatings and was talked down to for small mistakes. My family never praised me for working hard in school and making the best grades. I was criticized for making 99% and not 100%. They always made it very clear to me that I was a disappointment and failure and that I would never amount to anything in life.
I never felt any sort of love from my family. The only time that they told me they loved me was when I was able to fulfill their demands. Their love was conditional upon how my test results, how well I could cook Indian food and how well I followed their strict rules.
Ever since I was a teenager, I desperately craved change. I was tired of living life so scared. I was tired of being terrified of the consequences if I accidentally did something wrong. I wanted to create my own life and identity. I stood up for myself for the first time when I was in college. My family wanted me to study Biology and to become a dentist or doctor. I was not interested in that at all. I wanted to be a lawyer. When I told my family this, my father threatened to transfer me to a university in my hometown. I should have felt sorry or sad for betraying my family, but I felt empowered. I finally gained the courage to stand up to my family and this was only the beginning.
Two months before I graduated from college, I met my soulmate. However, he wasn’t Indian. I knew that my family wouldn’t be happy about this, but I didn’t think it was going to be this awful of a situation. I thought my family would be unsupportive but that they would come to accept it. In actuality, they disowned me. They said that I was dead to them and that they never wanted to see me again. When I asked why they were so against me dating someone outside of my race, their only concern was what their Indian friends and other family members would think. I wasn’t worth being in their lives anymore because they were worried about what other people would think. After I was disowned, my family tried to kidnap me several times. They hired a private investigator to follow me around and even traced my phone calls. This happened five years ago and I’m still terrified that they will find me and hurt me.
Being disowned by my family is the hardest thing I have been through, but it also has been the most liberating thing I have been through. For the longest time, I felt liked a bird stuck in its cage. I’m finally free and I feel like I have a second chance at life. I can now be my own person without fearing the wrath of my family. I said goodbye to everyone and everything I knew, but I got to say hello to a new me. The two months after this happened were the darkest months of my life though. I struggled with thoughts of guilt and abandonment. I felt alone and as if I didn’t matter. I was depressed and at rock bottom. One day, I realized that I wasn’t going to let this consume my life and that I wasn’t going to my past haunt me forever.
It has been five years since I’ve seen or talked to my family. These five years have been challenging at times, but they’ve also been the most rewarding years I’ve had. I’m now living the most incredible life I have ever imagined for myself. I’ve now been married to Amos for three and a half years. I’ve traveled to 80+ countries since my family disowned me and that has healed so much of my broken heart. The most amazing outcome from my family disowning me is that I have a new family who adopted me and love me like I’m their own child. They have shown me unconditional love and have supported me every step of the way. They have shown me what it’s like to actually have a family who loves me for who I am. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have them.
My family’s labels don’t identify me anymore. I’ve created new standards and have created my own definition of “success.” I now have the freedom to live my life on my own terms and not anyone else’s. I now have the opportunity to be anyone I want to be. Most importantly, I’ve been able to help and be a shoulder to lean on to other women who are going through something similar. I get to love on and be of support to others who are going through the hardest time of their lives. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I hadn’t gone through what I did with my family. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
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